Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Migration finally starts

Yesterday whilst sitting at my desk I passed the time gazing skywards. There wasn't much to see against the blue sky but I did see my first White Wagtail of the year flying purposefully north and also small groups of Wood Pigeons flying both east and west. These were the first flocks I had seen migrating this year so even though it wasn't much it made me feel that things were finally starting to happen. I also saw that other observers had reported that flocks of Pink-footed Geese were beginning to be seen further south in the Oslo fjord and Chaffinch migration has started with over 1000 counted from Nesodden heading over the fjord to Oslo. I took the bus after work out to Bygdøy which is a penisula just 15 minutes from Oslo centre with open fields. In the spring the melting snow always causes flooding which lasts no more than a week or so but can be very attractive to migrating waterfowl. The snow has started to melt now but the floodwaters are only just beginning to form. Never-the-less there were birds to be seen. Over 200 Grelyag Geese and 8 Canada Geese were in the fields and small groups of Grelyags kept flying in suggesting they were newly arrived. Amongst 21 Mallard were a pair of Teal and 15 White Wagtails and 4 Meadow Pipits seemed to be finding some insects to eat. 4 Stock Doves were flying around and a couple of Reed Buntings singing. The fjord is still mostly frozen but this hasn't deterred the Black headed Gulls. They only started arriving a week ago but they were already establishing themselves on a breeding island alongside Common Gulls and Oystercatchers. As I left Bygdøy on the bus a Kestrel flew over. 5 new birds for year today so they keep roling in. In the evening the local Waxwing flock flew over the house with 35 birds still present. It will be interesting to see how long they hang arond.

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